CAMBRIDGE (AP) — Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow is saying he regrets the controversial comments he made invoking the 13th Amendment in referring to the university’s relationship with wealthy donors.

The Boston Globe reports Bacow was speaking Tuesday to Harvard alumni relations and fundraising staff when he referred to the 13th Amendment, which freed slaves in the United States, to say Harvard’s individual schools could no longer own specific wealthy graduates.

The comment was criticized as “ignorant,” “ridiculous” and “tone deaf.”

Lawrence Bacow (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Bacow sent an email Saturday to the university’s alumni relations and development saying he regretted that the comments caused offense. He said that was not his intent.

Bacow said Harvard fundraising officials should help donors who may be interested in giving to schools where they had no prior affiliation.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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